BUFFALO, NY – Local word hound and editor of The Poughkeepsie Paladin, Cassius Bronte, found himself horrified and embarrassed Monday at his misuse of the term “ironically” in casual conversation with a SUNY Buffalo sophomore while attending a mixer for the Linguistics Society of Upstate New York’s upcoming Collegiate Bowl, of which he was to be a judge.
According to bystanders, a possibly inebriated Bronte said to the comely young woman, “Ironically, here I’ve met such a delightful lass, like yourself and yet I find myself without a prophylactic.” He then gave out a loud, nervous laugh as the anonymous co-ed, clearly offended, withdrew from his company.
“I don’t understand it, really,” said Bronte, obviously put-upon to explain such a gaffe, “normally correcting peoples’ catachrestic solecisms is my raison d’etre – especially when it comes to irony. However, I am confident my colleagues will chalk it up to a mere lapsus linguae and not harp upon such a trivial mistake in a callow manner or such.”
Bronte, in his late 30’s and balding, certainly looks the part of the lifetime academic with his wire-rim glasses and corduroy blazer, complete with leather elbow patches, but some in the community weren’t so surprised at his faux pas.
“Cassius has always been something of a pseudo-intellectual,” Associate Professor of Physics, Mark Pomeroy was quoted as saying, “he seems as if he’s always waiting to pounce on any little malapropism or use of the vernacular he doesn’t deem worthy. He jumped all over me, just last week for saying something was flagrant when I actually meant it to be blatant. What a douche.”
Some even seemed to relish the idea of Bronte being knocked down a few pegs. Said Dean Johnson Val Dernen, “Bronte’s been a thorn in my side for years. He sucks up to all the visiting literati in a vainglorious attempt to ingratiate himself into their celebrity world. As long as The New York Times has given you the thumbs up, you can expect the royal treatment at the hands of Cassius Bronte and his Poughkeepsie Paladin coterie.”
Asked if he would use this opportunity to sanction Bronte in front of the Linguistics Society, The Dean hesitated to commit to such an action, “Well, unfortunately, the timing couldn’t be worse as The University has recently launched its own boutique publishing house and the last thing we need is that pedantic cocksucker spiting us with bad reviews.”
The Dean later added that any official sanctions would be superfluous, as Bronte had himself withdrawn from judging the competition.
For a moment, Bronte seemed genuinely apologetic and even humbled by the experience. “I suppose I’ve brought this upon myself. Truly, this is poetic justice on a Dickensian scale.”
Grasping at the seemingly extraneous, he added, “Clearly, I have led myself to the abattoir by means of my own misdeeds.”
Not happy to leave it at that, he chimed in, “Perhaps now I see, as Icarus saw only whilst plunging into the Aegean, that I have flown too close to the sun in my pursuit of linguistic perfection.”
Not surprisingly, his new found deference for others proved to be short-lived as he was seen sternly admonishing an African-American youth for “axing” him “where da B-ball at?” just outside the auditorium shortly before being severely beaten by the athlete and several of his compatriots.